As an expert with over 20 years of experience in PR and marketing who has spent the last decade working exclusively with photographers, I understand the challenges that independent photographers face in today’s competitive market.

Despite your talent and passion for capturing beautiful photography, attracting clients and getting booked as a photographer can still feel like an uphill battle.

That’s why I’m here to share three essential marketing strategies for photographers like you.

Why the visibility of your photography business is paramount

First though, let’s start by acknowledging that the photography industry is more saturated than ever. You’ll already know this, but it’s worth considering before I start talking about the specific marketing strategies for photographers that I recommend.

Countless photographers are vying for the attention of potential clients, so the visibility of your photography business is key to your success. Quite simply, no one can book you as a photographer if they are unaware of you or your services.

How to get noticed and book more clients

Yes, you may HATE marketing – I’ve yet to meet a photographer who claims to love self-promotion – but you still need to do what it takes to get more visible. Standing out in such a crowded market is not a nice-to-have, it’s essential.

Without a strong online presence, and without regularly implementing photography marketing strategies, such as those I’ll discuss below, it’s easy to get lost in the noise.

Don’t let yourself become that photographer who is invisible in the market, who isn’t showing up online and who isn’t being talked about and recommended by others.

The most important thing you can do as a photography business owner is to market your services constantly so that you maintain a level of visibility and awareness in the communities that are relevant to your business. An invisible photographer is a photographer who is not getting booked.  

An essential definition: How are you different to other photographers?

To stand out and attract your ideal clients, you firstly need to define what sets you apart from the competition. What makes your photography unique? Is it your distinctive style? Your unique approach or experience? Are you a specialist in a particular photography genre? Or something else?  

Take some time to reflect on your strengths and what makes you different and use that to inform your marketing efforts going forward. Potential clients need to understand what makes you and your photography different if they are to choose you over someone else.

Beyond selling images, what’s your mission?

If you have a mission for your photography business, all the better. This takes your uniqueness a step further and is something that you can leverage in your marketing.

For example, you may be a female portrait or boudoir photographer, but if you are also on a personal mission to empower women through your confidence-boosting portraits, then this gives you something to share in your marketing content that goes beyond promoting your photography services.

Your mission to support women will help you further in building connections with your ideal clients. In your marketing copy – the words on your website and your social media posts etc. – you can talk about your mission and values, and why this is a personal focus for you. Perhaps you even have a compelling personal story about why this is so important to you that you could share?

Three visibility-boosting marketing strategies for Photographers

Now, let’s get into the three marketing strategies I particularly recommend:

1. Website SEO – Optimizing Your Online Presence

One of the most powerful tools at your disposal for increasing visibility is your photography website. Think of it as your online shopfront – it’s often the first impression potential clients will have of your work.

For your website to get found though, it’s crucial to ensure that it’s not only visually appealing but also optimised for search engines.

If it is optimised well, you will benefit from free website traffic. Google (and other search engines) will list your website in search engine results pages when people in your location are seeking information relevant to your photography services.

Many photographers pay for prominent visibility in search engine results pages (Google Ads), but how great would it be to get most of your website traffic for free?! In my book, that’s far better, and arguably more sustainable long-term, than having to pay for traffic.

The work I do for my photography clients is focused on generating increased levels of free organic traffic to their websites and, indeed, organic traffic accounts for around 80%+ of my own total website traffic. I don’t pay for ads, and don’t need to, to get relevant people to my site – they find me on Google instead.

This is entirely possible for you too if you are committed to learning the basics of SEO and to optimising your photography website for better visibility.

How to optimise your photography website

  • Conduct keyword research to identify the terms and phrases that potential clients are using to search for photographers in your area or niche.
  • Incorporate those keywords strategically throughout your website, from your homepage to your portfolio and service pages.
  • Focus on providing valuable, relevant information that resonates with your target audience to improve your search engine rankings.

2. Blogging – A Content-led approach to building credibility and trust

In addition to optimising your website’s core pages, consider starting a photography blog. Blogging is a fantastic way to showcase your expertise, connect with your audience, as well as improve your search engine rankings.

Related reading: How to start a photography blog

What should you write about on your photography blog?

Write about topics that your potential clients are interested in, whether it’s tips for preparing for a photoshoot, behind-the-scenes insights into your creative process or showcasing recent projects or client sessions.

Not only will this help you attract more traffic to your website, but it will also position you as an authority in your field.

Do people still read blogs?

You may question whether clients bother reading blogs and whether it’s worth the effort. While not all will, certainly many do!

Don’t forget that even in this age of information overload, when we are considering hiring someone or making a significant purchase (photography-related or not), we do our due diligence.

  • We use our access to the internet to research the individual or the company involved. Typically, that might mean looking at their website and social media presence for social proof and testimonials from happy clients.
  • We review their content to get a sense of who they are, and their expert status, and to help us decide whether this purchase would be a wise one based on the information available.

If you have a photography blog packed full of informative articles, useful information and examples of your work, then you will more easily be able to reassure a potential client of your credibility and expertise. By answering common questions on your blog, before they must ask you these, you can inform them about what’s involved, build trust and reassure prospective clients that they are in safe hands.

Yes, a blog is super powerful, and it also significantly helps with SEO too, which is why I am a huge advocate of blogging and recommend it to all photographers.    

How to get started with blogging

  • Create a content calendar to plan out your blog posts in advance and ensure consistency.
  • Write blog posts that answer common questions your potential clients may have, such as “How to Choose the Right Photographer for Your Destination Wedding” or “Tips on What to Wear for your Autumn Family Portrait Session.”
  • Share your blog posts on social media to drive traffic back to your website.

3. Leveraging Publicity for Maximum Exposure

Another powerful strategy for increasing visibility is leveraging publicity.

Getting featured in local publications, industry blogs, or even mainstream media outlets can help boost your credibility, expand your reach, and attract high-value clients.

As a PR Consultant, I help photographers get featured in the media – in magazines, newspapers, on radio and even TV – as well as on third-party blogs and on podcasts.

These publicity opportunities are high-visibility and are completely free, BUT they must be earned in the sense that you have to offer something of value in exchange. In most cases, this is your news, your expertise and insights, and your photography. These are all valuable assets that journalists and publishers seek for their publications.

Have you ever reached out to the media or online publishers to offer yourself and your photography? If not, why not try it?  

How to get started with media publicity

  • Research publications and media outlets that your target audience reads or watches
  • Brainstorm news, ideas and angles that you could pitch that align with their interests and needs, and that would help you build awareness of yourself as a photography expert
  • Proactively reach out to the media – contact journalists on the relevant publications and offer what you could share, emphasising why you are the right person to feature and what makes the story newsworthy and timely.

A further tip would be to collect testimonials from satisfied clients and display them prominently on your website and on your social media channels to enhance your credibility. You can be sure that journalists you pitch to will check you out online if they are considering featuring you!

Also, share any awards or accolades you’ve received to further establish your authority in your niche.

Which of these three marketing strategies for photographers will you focus on first?

In today’s competitive photography market, visibility is everything.

By optimising your online presence, harnessing the power of blogging, and strategically pursuing publicity opportunities, you can increase your visibility, attract more clients, and ultimately grow your business.

Marketing can be frustrating, I know. It’s an ongoing process – it’s not something you can set and forget – and the goalposts keep changing, so you may always feel on the backfoot.

Google rolls out new algorithm updates regularly and social media channels offer ever more advanced tools and ways to engage with your online audience.

But despite all the changes, what does remain a constant is the need for visibility. Prospective clients need to know of you, see you and be reminded of your services for them to potentially buy from you or to recommend you.

So, keep experimenting, refining your marketing strategies, and adapting to changes in the industry while remaining focused on boosting your visibility as a photographer.

Need a visibility boost and want some help?

If you ever feel overwhelmed or unsure of where to start with implementing any of these three suggested marketing strategies for photographers, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

I believe that with the right guidance and support, you can turn your visibility dilemma into a thing of the past and start booking more clients than ever before. I would be very happy to be your guide.

In terms of how I can support you, I offer one-off consultancy calls as well as longer-term support services including ‘done-for-you’ PR and marketing for photographers.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to upskill in all the three areas I have mentioned in this article, then my group programme could be a perfect fit.

In the Photographer’s Visibility Blueprint, you’ll learn how to use SEO, blogging and PR to boost your visbility and attract dream clients. Considering joining? Great! I’d love to help you boost your visibility and grow your photography business!

The Photographer’s Visibility Blueprint™